As the winter takes hold a winter sports holiday may beckon. A skiing holiday abroad is one of the most exhilarating and popular things to do. Thousands of people choose to ski in France and Italy each year and have a wonderful experience. Whilst the vast majority of skiers have a superb holiday, for a small minority it is not so good.

It is quite obvious that there is a heightened risk of accident if you are skiing or snowboarding as they are demanding activities requiring particular skills and fitness levels. Approximately 10,000 skiers and snowboarders come to grief every year, 10% of whom collide with another person, 5% experience an equipment fail, and a further 5% have accidents involving lifts. Snowboarding carries a slightly higher risk than skiing according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

The safety levels surrounding such activities can vary from resort to resort and not every skiing accident is as a result of the participant's level of skill. There are some commonsense steps that can be taken to avoid an accident due to your own fault:

  • Make sure all the necessary safety equipment is actually worn
  • When you get to the slopes ensure that you are ready to ski by adequately warming up and cooling down
  • Do not ski alone
  • Be fully aware of your capabilities
  • Absolutely do not ski off-piste unless you are extremely experienced

If there is an accident there can be few things more daunting that suffering an injury far from home, particularly if you cannot speak the language. It is not surprising that many people want to think that their injury is not so serious and they do want to disrupt their holiday with a hospital admission they think they do not need. Alternatively, if the nature of the injury seems to be clear and the individual considers it to be minor, many people brush off an accident resulting in injury as they don't want to spoil their holiday. It is easy to think that you have got away without too much harm but there can be long term consequences.

If the repercussions of your "minor" injury lead to an unexpectedly major outcome and it becomes apparent that financial compensation is justified due to equipment fails or a ski lift incident due to the negligence on the part of a third party, it could be extremely difficult to gain such compensation if there is no record of the injury and no independent witnesses to the accident. The lawyers in the Giambrone personal injury team believe it is better to be safe than sorry and have your injury properly investigated in case there is a hidden problem that will come back to haunt you. Even in the cases where medical assistance has been sought, often the individual believes that they will recover easily from the injury and feel that they would be making a fuss is they press for damages, only to find that at a later date the injury worsens and they find that it impacts by the need for reduced working hours or specialist equipment.

Our personal injury lawyers strongly recommend that any injury, however minor, should be thoroughly scrutinised and a medical professional's opinion as to the nature, treatment and prognosis of the injury should be sought.

If you would like to know more about how to obtain compensation for an accident abroad please click here

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.